According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States today. Research done by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill produced some very startling results. The results showed 19 percent of young adults, ranging between the ages of 24 and 32, are affected by high blood pressure. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, increases your chance of developing heart disease. The study defined hypertension as having a blood pressure of 140 over 90 or higher. A normal blood pressure is considered to be 120 over 80 or lower. The findings of the UNC-Chapel Hill study contrast greatly to a study done by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey that said only 4 percent of young adults had high blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure
The Mayo Clinic defines high blood pressure as a common condition in which the force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may cause health problems, such as heart disease. Many factors can lead to high blood pressure. These factors include:
- A high Sodium diet- too much sodium causes your body to retain fluid, increasing your blood pressure
- Being overweight or obese- more weight means more blood flow needed to supply oxygen and nutrients to tissues. If the volume of blood running through the blood vessels increases, it increases the pressure on the artery walls
- Family history
- Tobacco use- chemicals in tobacco can damage the lining in the artery walls causing them to narrow
Whether it’s 4 percent or 19 percent, it is evident that young adults should monitor their blood pressure more closely. Being diagnosed early with hypertension increases the chances of controlling it before serious heart damage can occur.
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